Rochelle city council to change animal codes

ROCHELLE, Ill. (WIFR) - An increase in stray cats in Rochelle sparks conversation with city leaders.

"We have the occasional client who has found little kittens that are probably abandoned. They bring them in on our own and we tend to just keep them in. That's how most of us have gotten our cats," said Michelle Galvan, Rochelle Veterinary Hospital.

Galvan adopted four stray cats brought in to the Rochelle clinic. Then things got out of hand.

"So many were coming in the city decided it was getting a little excessive," Galvan said.

The clinic couldn't accept cats unless they were suffering.

"The police will give permission for them to come in so we could humanly not have them suffering. But other then that, healthy ones they don't come in," Galvan said.

Now, the city is looking to change its animal code.

“We take your concerns seriously and are taking steps to develop such a program. At the council meeting, we will remove the outdated language in our municipal code that allows for the euthanizing of stray animals. We are in contact with Community Cats United, Best Friends and Alley Cat Allies, who have graciously offered advice and solutions. Mayor Bearrows, Rochelle city council members and our staff are committed to finding a humane solution,” said Rochelle City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.

"It's going to take a lot of input from a lot of different people but I am hoping everything can come together in a positive note. So we can have a positive resolution for everybody," Galvan said.

City leaders are meeting with an organization called Fixin Feral Felines on Tuesday and are looking to partner with area animal shelters and vet clinics.